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To maximise profits, many product brands are looking for ways to grow their wholesale sales, and one of the fastest and best ways to do it is via trade expos. 

In today’s episode, Lisa talks about her experience at the recent Reed Gift Fair in Melbourne, where she exhibited her brand Aussie Man Hands, and was also a keynote speaker. 

In addition, she shares some essential tips for learning how to find trade expos, how to stand out as a brand, how to sell on a stand, and why attending trade fairs is a good idea.

Why attend trade fairs?

Lisa continues to try new ways to blow her brands up online, this time Aussie Man Hands. The goal is to get the brand out there and ensure its products are available in stockists all over Australia. 

The products are perfect for gift stores, stationery, and lifestyle stores – and with many store owners attending trade shows, it makes perfect sense for Lisa to attend for her brand.

It’s beneficial for your brand

Lisa shared that having your products on the shelf in multiple bricks-and-mortar stores in Australia is beneficial. For example, you might buy something from a family road trip. If you want to buy this product again, you’re nowhere near the store you purchased it from! Your solution? Search for the products website and order it that way. 

Here is where the shelf space in retail stores becomes a great marketing opportunity. This is how you get people to fall in love with your product, by ensuring that you have it in stock on shelves across the country. But, of course, it’s equally important to have the products in your ecommerce store, especially for those who want the convenience of online purchasing. 

Attending trade fairs gives you opportunities to get your products stocked in more stores. It lets you look at the future potential of these stockists to keep buying your products. 

Branding is branding; this is marketing. There’s a risk, but it’s also a clever way to grow your brand through multichannel and omnichannel marketing. 

The right expos for you

Australia has two types of trade fairs: the direct to consumer (D2C) and the B2B (business to business) trade expos – this is where you sell directly to other businesses at a wholesale price point. 

The downside is you will need to give up some of your profit margin, but the upside is selling a bunch of products in one transaction, and being able to nurture the business relationship. 

When picking the expo for you, it’s essential to be clear on what the cost is to display. Don’t just assume to pay for the stand. There are other costs you need to consider to get your break even, including the following: 

  • actual stand cost
  • fit-out cost 
  • product cost 
  • transportation cost for bringing in your products to the expo
  • bump in and bump out; the time you set up the stand and pack it up 
  • personal travel cost 
  • wages for the staff or team you hire

The goal is to break even before considering your sales target for the expo. 

Stand out as a brand

Invest in ensuring your stand fits and looks impressive. Having a repeatable fit-out is best so you can use it at future events.

Aside from the beautiful fit-out, it’s also important to be interactive. Talk to people, make eye contact, and find ways to chat with people. Don’t be a wallflower. 

Introduce your brand as a story, and don’t forget to pick up your products and show them what they can do. Test them out. Make the interaction engaging, and involve their senses as you talk to them. Another thing is to ask a little about them, when you’re done with your spiel. Show personal interest. Ask them how the expo is going for them and their experiences so far, among other things. 

However, if you find that the person isn’t a match to your brand goals, be kind and cut them quickly. Move to the next person and know that your time and theirs are valuable. 

And don’t forget to ask for the sale when you find the right person! Offer a deal that’s only available at the expo. Make them feel they’re missing something if they don’t take the deal.

Take full payment

If you’re going to get a sale on the stand, make sure to get the total payment up front: get cash on the stand.

Be visible

Another golden tip is to be visible. Talk to the exhibition organisers, appear in the expos’ social media stories, find ways to feature your products on stage, or get a feature in their magazine. 

Leverage being at the expo by finding ways to become more visible than you already are. 

There are two other things to do while standing at your stand: capture every lead that comes through your stand, and try to get a big contact that could get you national exposure through a chain of stores. 

Trade expos can be expensive and physically draining but these events give your brand an enormous opportunity to grow nationally and even globally. 

Aussie Man Hands 

Connect with Lisa:

Instagram: @lisajones_co
Free Facebook Group: Uncomplicated E-commerce for Women!!

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